Providence, Rhode Island

My husband and I lived in a three-decker that we owned on Hope Street, corner of Larch, our first house. I was working at Brown, and (confident in my ancient VW station wagon's ability to get me home), worked all afternoon of the blizzard... I barely got the car slid up into our driveway after a harrowing ride down Hope Street from work.

Cars buried in snow, 1978
Buried cars on an East Side, Providence, street. (Alfredo Esparza, February 1978).

We were snowed in for nearly a week. We were young and healthy and unencumbered, so it was kind of fun. We walked down to Star Market (no more bread or milk! LOL), walked to a restaurant on South Main Street, and drank Irish coffees with a friend; there were people staying there who were stranded from busses, etc., on the highway, and the restaurant was giving them free soup and bread.

Everywhere, we walked on several feet of snow past the windows and antennae of cars that were otherwise buried on the streets.

A friend of ours whose flight from DC to Providence had been canceled made it up here Tuesday or Wednesday on the train, then found he couldn't get home to Marion, Massachusetts, from Providence no way, no how. So Bill walked—in "business" loafers and slacks and lightweight overcoat—the hill and stayed at our house for several days. Then he borrowed some boots and a parka from my husband, walked off the East Side and onto Route 195, made his way on foot through deep snow to the Massachusetts border, where miraculously the highway was clean to the pavement. A work crew picked Bill up and gave him a ride home.

I started walking into my office after a few days, but it was pretty dead there.

At the end of the week, we awoke to hear the "beep beep beep" of a National Guard bulldozer or backhoe about a mile north of us on Hope Street. All day it worked its way closer to us until finally, the pavement in front of our house was cleared. It took days more for the side streets to be opened up, but what jubilation when we could actually see Hope Street again!

On the other hand, I loved the utter quiet of that week without vehicles; it was lovely, and everyone was so nice.

Originally posted in the alt.rhode_island newsgroup, February 6, 2005.

Sun, 02/05/2023 - 20:14